About HomeSearch.com

If you’re looking to purchase real estate, HomeSearch is an online auction-based website that gives buyers the ability to search for and bid on residential, REO (e.g. bank owned), and retail properties across all 50 states. In fact, the company claims that their advanced auction platform “makes real estate easy.”

But does HomeSearch.com really make purchasing real estate as easy as they claim? Let’s close on the facts and find out.

Quick Details About HomeSearch

Using their advanced auction platform, HomeSearch claims to provide buyers with three primary benefits:

  1. Ease of Use – Provides easy online access to properties in all 50 states, in addition to a customizable search engine and real time updates.
  2. Deal Selection – Claims to contain thousands of exclusive properties, and even financing.
  3. Transparency – All bidding is handled through a high-visibility auction format, which allows you to see the current bid amount, and to receive notifications throughout the process.

To begin using HomeSearch.com, you’ll first need to choose the type of property you’re looking for, including:

  • Auction
  • Bank Owned
  • Short Sales
  • Single Family Homes
  • Multi-Family Homes
  • Condos & Townhomes
  • Land
  • Short Sale and Luxury coming soon

Next, you can enter a zip code, city, property address, or property ID. If there are any properties that meet your criteria, you’ll be able to see a short overview of each, including address, price, auction start and end dates, and remaining time. By clicking on the View Details button, you’ll be able to view addition pictures (if available), whether or not the reserve has been met, occupancy status, and more.

If you’ve already registered an account, HomeSearch claims that bidding on a property involves just one simple click, and that after the auction has concluded, you’ll receive an email confirmation if you’re the highest bidder. Keep in mind that similar to many other popular auction sites, HomeSearch.com allows sellers to set a reserve price that must be met in order to be purchased. In other words, even if you’re the highest bidder, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll always have won the right to purchase the property.

HomeSearch.com Pricing & Refund Policy

HomeSearch is free to register an account and to place bids on, although a $2,500 hold may be placed on your credit card when registering for an auction. This hold will only be released back to you in the event that the auction ends and you have not purchased a property.

However, if you successfully win and auction and agree to purchase a property, HomeSearch.com will charge a “Buyer’s Premium” (also known as an Auction Fee), which is equal to five percent (5%) of the Winning Bid amount, in addition to the original $2,500 hold.

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About HomeSearch?

HomeSearch.com is based in Lewisville, TX, and holds a C rating with the Better Business Bureau, although they only have one closed complaint within the past three years.

Elsewhere online we found very few customer reviews, which might indicate that HomeSearch is a relatively new company. To support this, while the website’s URL was originally registered in 1998, it appears to have been operating in its current capacity only since mid-2013. However, those customer reviews we were able to locate were overwhelmingly negative, and cited a cumbersome purchasing process that has the ability to fall through up until the very last moment (more about this in the next section).

What’s the Bottom Line About HomeSearch.com?

So, if you’re looking to purchase real estate, is HomeSearch’s auction platform the best use of your time? We’d answer with a very cautious “maybe,” and here’s why:

First, based on several searches we ran through HomeSearch.com, it appears that the company highly favors distressed (e.g. foreclosed or short sale) properties. Like their name implies, these types of homes are often in very poor condition, and you may not ever have the opportunity to look inside (many are sold “as-is”) before closing. As such, they can represent a huge amount of risk.

With this in mind, although it’s long, we’d highly recommend thoroughly reading through the HomeSearch.com Event Agreement. As you’ll see, it appears to weigh heavily in favor of the seller and the company, and to leave the winning bidder essentially up in the air right up until signing. In other words—especially when it comes to distressed properties—the contract can be voided at any point for a wide variety of reasons, which can make the overall process very cumbersome. The Event Agreement also stipulates that none of the properties sold through HomeSearch come with contingencies, such as inspections or financing. In other words, if you’re the highest bidder, inspect the home and find it to be in terrible shape, or if you suddenly can’t obtain financing, you’ll still be obligated to pay the associated Buyer’s Premium.

Finally, keep in mind that HomeSearch.com appears to be closely affiliated with NationStar Mortgage LLC, which has a very poor online customer reputation. In fact, we suspect they may be different arms of the same parent company, although we were unable to confirm this during our research.

Bottom line: HomeSearch might be a viable option for locating properties in your area, but due to the restrictions on condition, current liens, financing malfunctions, and the like, the site might not be ideal for out of state purchases. Ultimately though, between one-sided contracts, steep fees, and a poor (although limited) online customer reputation, you may want to be cautious about purchasing a property through HomeSearch.com.

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71 Customer Reviews for HomeSearch.com

Average Customer Rating: 1.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 1 4 stars: 1 3 stars: 3 2 stars: 7 1 stars: 59
Bottom Line: 7% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 71
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    BEWARE! Winning bid not Honored

    • Loxahatchee, Florida,
    • May 12, 2016

    I rarely do a review but with this, I hope saves people time and money from using this site and to BE Aware! We showed up to the open house, no realtor to be around. A week before, the realtor said the bank only wanted 575k and that's it. So we waited for the auction, we bid 575k and the auction was supposedly ended. The next day the home was back up on the market at 600k. No more bids were coming through so they retracted the 600k and now 575k was the winning bid. Basically we were shill bid up to 575k to get the reserve met.

    So the home ended up getting shill bid even higher to 795k but now as it ended they dropped the minimum bid from 25k to 10k just to squeeze a little more out. So in the end now they are taking second offers because of all the game playing. She did say that she was not happy the bank only wanted 575k and she knew. I wish to God I could have gotten the next day screenshot of the resposting and retracting shill bidding, but I was disheartened by the loss of integrity of this auction.

    https://www.facebook.com/GODJOEY/photos/pb.145046292207383.-2207520000.1462677724./1170140283031307/?type=3&theater

    Here is the video of the home, shows absolutely no realtor, there's just a door wide open and left to the elements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiSSFV09nsQ

    Good Luck and God Bless whoever won this home, it is truly a beauty.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Would Not Recommend

    • Hiwassee, VA,
    • Feb 29, 2016

    I recently had a realtor we know well bid on a property in Radford. We were never told if we won the bid, were not given any information about the property. The property has been up for auction at least 4 or 5 times I know of. I would not advise anyone to use this site. You can't find anyone who knows what's going on. My niece really wanted a home and it would have made her a neat place. They ask for your credit card number, which is odd. I was just so aggravated I didn't bother to bid anymore on it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Fees are not disclosed before auction

    • New London, CT,
    • Feb 5, 2016

    This company is a joke. The terms are not 100% disclosed. If you win an auction, YOU will be expected to pay all the fees and charges that are normally charged to the seller's or bank's account. Unless you find a deal that is too good to be true, you are most likely going to be paying too much. The problem is, you may NOT be bidding against a private buyer, since the local agent assigned to represent the bank may keep bidding on the bank's behalf until you hit the reserve, or you quit bidding. It's kind of a sham.

    To make things worse, if you end up being the second highest bidder and the bank is the highest, they try to hold you to your highest bid. They say you are obligated to buy the property, even if you find another home, before they decide to take your previous bid. It's all written in the "small print" that is in the legal section of their website. This can happen, and did happen to me a few days after the auction ended. I suggest you stay away from this company and do your own research regarding foreclosed properties.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    RUN and don't look back!

    I was wanting to buy a home from this site. I watched a piece of property for weeks knowing that it was coming up. While I was all set to have fun with this process I had the time to do some background research. Man did I back away. I discovered that Auction.com is a big scam so I unsubscribed from them, and now I have discovered that this Homesearch.com has the same formula. This company charges 5 percent on top of what you pay. You might as well go to a realtor who will "have your back" in any situation because a real realtor is liable for the honesty of the sale, PLUS you will get a homeowners insurance policy to cover everything else along with a legitimate sale. Or you can buy a FSBO (For Sale By owner) and you make a new friend hopefully. OK let's say you buy from Homesearch.com a 400 thousand dollar place. So 5 percent in addition is another 20 thousand dollars. Then you get it AS IS and then you will get a phone call, then another, then another, trying to put hooks and glitches into your process of purchase. THEN if you need a loan, they send you to GREENLIGHT LOANS, and Lord have mercy look at their reviews. I think not. Real estate agents will give you much better service plus get to know you. Or buy by owner and save any extra fees.

    I was so disappointed that I had to let go a place I wanted so badly. But when I did my research on this company, I did not want to be a glutton for punishment or scam or avoidance or disappointment or confusion. And let me tell you: you get all that when you buy something from this company. What a negative package with a big waste of time. Read their reviews too. Most times it is just better to do things the right way. This company does not care about you one single bit. They bid against you "behind the scenes," they're trying to get you competitive and aggressive with your ego invested while auctioning. Run and don't look back. I learned my lesson for you. Education is power. I give you my experience.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Cheated

    • Virginia,
    • Feb 5, 2016

    I was registered to bid on a house on January 11th. I checked it that morning and the current bid was $53,250.00, so I decided I was going to start bidding at 12pm, on my lunch break. The auction was due to end at 2pm that day. I got on the website at lunch time, and the house was gone and nowhere to be found. I was cheated out of my chance to bid on the house, and a potential $20,000 profit from remodeling the home. Not fair.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Deceiving practices and the worst company to deal with. Stay away.

    • Orlando, FL,
    • Dec 30, 2015

    All the other reviews are true, stay away from these people. The properties they list, even if they have the finance logo and are not cash only, they are either occupied or do not qualify for financing due to issues. They will give you no information and ignore you, once you win the auction, they will only try to finance through them (Greenlight Loans) at a higher rate and even then they may not finance, which you will lose the deposit.

    You can call Xome, Homesearch, Greenlight Loans, and the agents, and they all will know nothing. The asset manager hides in curtains of scammers, just like a mafia. Stay away. 

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Complaint

    • MD,
    • Nov 10, 2015

    Homesearch.com is a complete scam. They jerk people around, you can't get a straight answer from them. I bid on a property and gave them their asking price and was turned down. Then find out they sold it 72,000 cheaper. Do not waste your time.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Few more gray hairs

    This was the first time I have bought a property through an auction and it was very different. Very tight time frame and I was not even able to tour the property. I believe it was just me and the computer bidding and even though the reserve was not met, I was the high bidder and won! Everything operated on a 24-hour window and was all through email - sign this and fax back to us within 24-hours (IT WAS A 67 PAGE CONTRACT that had me saying I pretty much did my due diligence, would not renege), wire us the deposit within 24-hours. Have to include that in the contract/email there was a disclaimer that fake emails had been sent in the past and wire information, etc. had been stolen, be careful - GRAY HAIRS. Closing was done by the seller's attorney/title company one stop shop, and I did have some questions about that, plus a couple of charges. They list the sales price as what I bid, PLUS the homesearch.com fee I paid. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions.

    Bottom line - the home I purchased does need a lot of work, but at this moment, am glad I bought it.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Trying to sell a burnt house as needing TLC

    • Apple Valley CA,
    • Nov 5, 2015

    Bidding on a blue house in Apple Valley, CA. The entire house has fire damage, needs complete gut except 2 bedrooms. Their ad has many photos, none of them showing any fire, look at it on the site. It has sold twice, people bailed out when they came and saw it. Their ad actually says needs a little TLC. I think it should be a crime to mislead people like this. I tried 4 times to buy this house, really wanted it, but there are many houses for sale not being sold by some very shaky company. My rating would be far less then 1, but it won't let me go that low.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Discusting and a waste of time

    • Goffstown NH,
    • Oct 30, 2015

    I have been in business since 1996, building new and remodeling. I had the worst experience in nearly 20 years in this industry with this bidding website. Property was listed at 107,000.00. I went on site to bid, multiple people, it ended up with me at $130,000.00 cash, no conditions, closing ASAP. Another bidder went to $132,000.00. I stopped my bidding at that point and it ended up with this last bidder winning. Fine, fair, such is business...right?? Well, it didn't end there, I am not just a home builder but also a Real Estate Broker/Owner. So I kept my eye on it to closing. Guess what, it sold to someone for $117,500.00. WHAT? How does that makes sense. I contacted the listing agent and she told me that sold number she posted was indeed correct and she had no idea why it sold so low, she was surprised also, but that's what the winning bid was she noted. I told her my story and she was completely puzzled.

    So I contacted the number for "homesearch.com" customer service, the agent answering tried selling me a bill of excuses which I refuted each and every one, she tried telling me that maybe my computer was slow and I didn't win. So she clearly had trouble understanding English. I told her again, that I and another person were at and above $130,000.00. She proceeded to say...well, maybe the 'sold' price I was looking at was incorrect. I told her it's public information and I spoke with the listing agent and my understanding was correct. After several excuses she gave me another number to call to get further information. I called, but my message was never answered.

    Let me be plain and clear, I don't know what their gig is, but I know that I know that this is an absolute farce, and the agent that ended up selling to the winning bid for $117,500.00 is very well known in our Realtor circle as a shyster, I'm not sure what "in" he has with this site and who's pockets he is lining. But clearly my $130k bid, or the other guy at $132k, whom was supposedly the winning bid (I watched it marked as "sold" on site) was not as good as the $117,500.00. Don't forget, I was cash, no conditions, close ASAP. (This is the first time I have written an negative review in 50 years). This should say it all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    HomeSearch change auction dates and has poor service

    • San Marcos, Texas,
    • Oct 29, 2015

    Not to mention HomeSearch over charges for the Buyers Premium, at least for the poor services they support, they change the auction dates without any warning. I had a property I was going to bid on, when all of a sudden the auction dates are in the past and now the auction is closed. HomeSearch had been changing/extending the auction dates for the past two months, likely to attract more attention, but it's very unprofessional in my opinion to pull the plug at the last minute. Don't bother trying to call in after the the sale, their customer service is terribly poor. I bought a property from them earlier in the year) then their title company was terribly uncommunicative, I never did receive my closing docs completely, you'd think there would be some oversite/regulations of this entity.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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